Sunday, December 31, 2006

Goodbye 2006!

I really can't say I'm sorry to see the back of you. After the initial high on which it started, 2006 rapidly became the most unsettled, stressful and ultimately depressing year of my life. Big plans are currently afoot for 2007, so stay tuned for that. Oh, and you can catch my best and worst films list here. I started it a week ago and saved it as a draft and so of course it didn't post at the top of the blog. Doh.

Anyway, Happy New Year one and all. Here's hoping that 2007 kicks 2006's scrawny ass.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

It's that time of year again

With 2007 arriving on Monday, there are year end reviews cropping up all over the place. Starting with Manhola Dargis naming her favorite movies of the year. I have to admit I didn't stick around to find out what they were. Her opening paragraph laments how 2006 disappointed and there was nothing as sublime as The New World or as thrilling as History Of Violence. The former marks the first film I have walked out on in about 5 years and I never understood why the clumsy and mostly badly acted latter was so revered.

Entertainment Weekly have a massive year end round up on their site, covering best and worst of pretty much everything entertainment, as well as features on things like the most lamented dead tv characters of 2006. Rolling Stone have the top 100 songs of the year as well as the best and worst movies. Playbill are covering the stories and shows of 2006.

CNN have a round up of the major events and headlines of 2006, with the option to vote for your choice as the most major. Methinks the hurried execution of Saddam Hussein will probably make the top spot.

The above is by no means exhaustive of course. Tomorrow, the last day of 2006, will see my little review of the year as well as a movies top ten. I'm sure you're all on the edge of your seats.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Secure Mail, my ass

Two weeks ago, the night after a work party, I lost my ATM card. I was walking to work, using my card to put credit on to my cell phone and I guess I dropped it and, in my hungover state, didn't notice. So when I got home that night, I called the bank and reported it lost. Fine.

One week later, I received a letter from Secure Mail Services telling me they had a delivery for me that required a signature from me and me alone. Fine. They also informed me that they'd recently tried to deliver it and been unsuccessful. Lie. You then have to call or go online to reschedule the delivery. But if you don't do it by 4pm, then you can't have it delivered next day. I only got home from work at 9:30pm. As it's the Friday before Christmas, the earliest time I can have it delivered is the 27th. Annoying. So I reschedule it. My housemate isn't feeling that well so she'll be home when they deliver. The delivery window is a fabulously non-specific 9am-5pm. At 5pm, she calls me to tell me they didn't deliver. So I called Secure Mail Services and had the following conversation:

Me: Hi, I'm calling about a delivery
SMS: Yes, we have it scheduled in for you tomorrow
Me: I arranged it for today
SMS: We have you down for the 27th
Me: Which is today
SMS: Oh. (pause) Well I can see we tried to call you on the 23rd
Me: No you didn't
SMS: yes, we have it recorded here that we called your mobile at 11:50am
Me: No, you didn't. What number do you even have for me:
SMS: *reads the correct cell phone number to me*
Me: well, I had no missed call, no voice mail, no nothing on the 23rd from you.
SMS: I don't know what to tell you..
Me: Evidently
SMS: But we did try to call
Me: Uh huh. Just deliver my card please

And so yesterday they did. To my housemate. Who didn't sign anything for it. Whatever!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

A distinct lack of festive blogging

So it was Christmas. I chose to pretty much ignore that fact. I didn't send out a single card or buy a single present (I have very pressing financial needs elsewhere and so in my defense, I was ordered not to buy gifts by people, which is fine with me). I did receive some lovely cards and a couple of gifts. The most thoughtful gift would have to be, without a doubt, the home made Christmas cake sent to me by someone I shall call Pattifan. It looked beautiful, it tastes amazing and it was accompanied by the most heartfelt message imaginable.

The actual day itself passed in a food filled haze. Work and financial constraints meant I stayed home with the crippled lesbian housemate. She's also one of my closest friends and has been for the 12 years I have known her. We decided when it came to cooking we would have the laziest Christmas ever, and if you couldn't peel the cellophane off and put it in the oven, we weren't having it. We went for the high end of that kind of convenience food, with a joint of pork, wrapped in parma ham, stuffed with cranberries and apricots. We ate at 4pm with all the trimmings and I wasn't truly hungry again until 6pm on the 26th. Fantastic.

It's not that I'm all grinchy and hate Christmas or anything (unlike a certain Dirk Mancuso), my decision to allow Christmas to pass me by was made for the previously mentioned financial reasons. A full blog entry explaining them in more detail will be coming up.

Having seen Eragon on the 22nd, I dragged myself from the flat on the 26th to see Perfume: Story Of A Murderer. The former was worse than I thought it was going to be, rather than being Dragonheart, it was more King Arthur with dragons. Rubbish. And some horrible HORRIBLE acting to boot. The latter was worth seeing for an intense performance from Ben Whishaw (who is very pretty but also distractingly, alarmingly thin) and as a whole the film is never dull to look at. But the source novel isn't actually all that great and the adaptation here is hardly the most dazzling. I am not a fan of Tom Tywker (I am one of the few people on the planet who absolutely loathed Run Lola Run) so I guess it's not overly shocking I found this to be so middling. But the main reason to see it was Whishaw and he didn't disappoint.

So, that was my festive season, how was everyone else's?

Sunday, December 24, 2006

PCB's Best and Worst Films of 2006*†

Here is my take on the best and worst cinematic experiences of 2006. Tellingly, it was a lot tougher scraping ten films together I enjoyed than the ten I didn't. Without any further ado....

Best Films of 2006

1. Pan's Labyrinth
2. Shortbus
3. The Departed
4. Red Road
5. United 93
6. The Three Burials Of Melqiades Estrada
7. Hard Candy
8. The Queen
9. Superman Returns
10. The Prestige

Worst Films of 2006

1. Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Man's Chest
2. The Da Vinci Code
3. Hostel
4. Poseidon
5. Basic Instinct 2
6. The Hills Have Eyes
7. Brick
8. Derailed
9. The Grudge 2
10. Deja Vu

*only compiled from films actually seen in the cinema during 2006, so admittedly, it's not that comprehensive a list. One of the resolutions for 2007 is to get back to the cinema more.

†Lists compiled on New Year's Eve. Entry started on Christmas Eve by listing all films I had seen from IMDb and saving it as a draft entry.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Harry Potter Book 7

Ah so it's The Deathly Hallows, is it? Interesting. Hopefully this means the transition from cutesy pre-teen to young adult is now complete. After the disappointment of Order Of The Phoenix (how they're going to make a movie out of it that's even remotely interesting is anybody's guess), I really very much enjoyed Half Blood Prince and the "all bets are off" ending is the absolute best thing Rowling could have done as the lead in for the grand finale.

Google scares me, part deux

It's weird. My blog can go over a week without anyone stumbling over some part of it with any kind of a google search. But just lately, people have gone crazy. Since my previous update, the following google searches have found me:

He was in bed with my sister-wife
Julia Stiles laxative
free rinko kikuchi nude photo full frontal
fat lesbian pics

There's also been a surge of people looking for Chad Michael Murray's cock lately. Are there naked pics of him somewhere I don't know about?

Thursday, December 21, 2006

TMI Tuesday on a Thursday

Even though it feels like Friday SO MUCH today! Man tomorrow is going to suck when I wake up and think for a brief moment that it's Saturday. Ah well.

Anyway, the TMI Tuesday folks have posted their latest questionnaire, so I thought it would be rude not to answer it. So here it is.

1. Is it better to give or receive? We’re talking sex aren’t we? Well then I’m gonna have to say that for me it’s better to receive.

2. What is the most sensitive part on a man/woman's body? Surely this is different for everybody, no? It could be anything from the back of the knee, to the nape of the neck. But the cockhead is generally the most sensitive part I’ve encountered.

3. What is the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you during sex? (Queefed? Family walked in? Couldn't get it up?) I’ve been quite lucky in this regard. I’ve not had any truly embarrassing, dear God please kill me now moments while I’ve been doing the nasty (or having the nasty done to me, whichever). But it’s never fun when it’s not so much a case of can’t get it up but can’t finish it off. A couple of times my orgasm has stubbornly refused to make an appearance no matter what. Which is more frustrating than embarrassing really.

4. Do you like to talk dirty during sex? How dirty does it get? Example! ;) Are you kidding? It’s one of my most favourite things, but again, I prefer the dirty talking to be done to me, rather than do any of it myself. That’s understandable, given how my favourite sexual activity makes talking a little difficult. And I like it seriously dirty. Bad approximations of porn talk do not fly well with PCB. If anyone ever says “oh yeah you like that don’t you?” they’d be shown the door so fast! Can’t think of a specific example though I’m afraid.

5. What do you really want for Christmas? Vibrator? Spanking? Well a gang bang or a spit roast would be fun, but I really wouldn’t mind a boyfriend either.

Bonus (as in optional): How often do you masturbate? Oh at LEAST once a day. My sex drive is ridiculous and has been for the last 17 years, pretty much. Very occasionally I lose the urge for a day or two but it's rare. The longest ever was a week right before I turned thirty. I guess it did something to me as my sex drive was dead. DEAD. If it hadn't been, a week without a wank would have probably killed me.

Movies on the PCB Radar: January 2007

Ah, January. Over in the US, it's a month littered with bad movies. Studios use the frozen wasteland of the month to dump films that would have little or no hope of making a dent in the box office at any other time of the year. However, over here in the UK, it's the time when we start to see the big movies that have all the awards buzz about them. Generally, you can't move at the start of the year without hitting a movie that has a Golden Globe nomination and tons of Oscar buzz. We do get some shit too, though. But it's mixed in with a whole heap of good stuff. So:

January 5th.

See? Robert Altman's final film makes it to these shores, along with Mel Gibson's Golden Globe nominated obscure language gorefest. And then there's Renee Zellwegger in a film that looks so classy I'm surprised it only has the one nomination for her performance so far.

January 12th

And this is my point about having shit mixed in with the great. Smokin' Aces won't be troubling anybody when awards season really kicks in and judging by the incoherent trailer, it's being released here in the hope that nobody notices how shit it is. That said, there are some fun people in the cast and I will still see it. I really hate the Running With Scissors poster, the film got wildly mixed reviews and died in the US, but I would see Annette Benning in anything and she's already being nominated for her performance here. Presumably she's grateful that Hilary Swank doesn't have a movie in contention. Last King Of Scotland is a must see not only for Whitaker but also James McAvoy who can do no wrong and uses his actual accent for the first time in a movie. As for Happyness I've already blogged how the trailer makes me glad I am not diabetic so whether or not I end up seeing the movie is anybody's guess.

Jan 19th

See, more shit mixed with greatness. I've been dying to see Babel for months now and have already missed two chances to see it so finally I'll be seeing it here. Black Book is Paul Verhoeven's critically lauded WWII movie, all the more shocking coming from the director of Showgirls. Infamous may well be the victim of bad timing, coming after the immaculately acted and directed Capote. Nobody needs to see Sandra Bullock as Harper Lee, though Daniel Criag's performance will undoubtedly be worth catching. And then there's Rocky Balboa. Opening this weekend to surprisingly strong reviews in the US, this franchise should have been retired a good twenty years ago. And if that wasn't enough, a new Rambo movie is starting shooting soon. Could someone please tell Sylvester Stallone to act his age? And while they're at it, could they tell Sarah Michelle Gellar to stop appearing in remakes of The Grudge?

Jan 26th

And so we round out the month with obscurity, controversy, greatness and shitness. Venus actually looks like it might be annoying more than anything else, but Vanessa Redgrave is always worth watching. Old Joy looks interesting but nobody has heard of it. Bobby has a cast of thousands and a Golden Globe nod for Best Pic, but was also recently given the title of Rolling Stone's Worst Film Of The Year. Blood Diamond comes soaked with several different controversies, none of them revolving around Leo's terrible South African accent, inexplicably. And finally, Darren Aronofsky's much delayed and very troubled Fountain. Given the ridiculously expansive storyline and the insanely truncated running time, I don't see how this can be even approaching coherent. I'm willing to give it a try though, not least because I do love Rachel Weisz so very much.

Our bathroom has no heating

None at all. Of any kind. And so when it's only 30 degrees outside (that's minus 1 in Celsius speak), it makes getting out of the shower just the wrong side of really no fun at all.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Tony Scott has no sense of irony

It can be the only explanation for making a film that doesn’t contain a single original element and calling it Déjà Vu.

It was really very bad, much worse than I was expecting it to be. The plot made absolutely no sense whatsoever for a start. There is a whole lot of debate raging over on IMDb right now about the various timelines the film has or may have. There is a very big school of thought that there is a whole chunk of stuff that takes place prior to the opening credits that can be pieced together as the film goes along. Uh, I think you’re crediting the writers a little too much there. The plot, such as it is, has numerous holes through which one could easily drive a truck and the time travel element of it simply fails to work. When making a film that deals in the notion of time travel and altering the past, you’re going to require a lot of disbelief suspension. It’s only possible if the film you’re watching is coherent and has some kind of internal logic. This is not that film.

Denzel looks bored, he’s barely even trying to disguise the fact he’s wondering what he’s doing in this shit. None of the other characters are even one dimensional, let alone two (one of the technical people dealing with the time travel McGuffin seems to serve the sole purpose of saying “address is in range” and then crying when things get a bit violent). Actually, I take that back. Adam Goldberg manages to deliver his dialogue like he really means AND understands it. Given that one of his lines actually says something like “warp the very fabric of space”, that’s no mean feat. Jesus (that’s Jim Caviziel to me and you) plays the terrorist bad guy. It’s interesting that filming a love scene is offensive to his Christian values, yet blowing up ferries, setting people on fire and waving around machine guns is fine because his character spouts some nonsense about God and destiny.

So in short, best to avoid this one.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Eric Dane is officially hot

The Dreamcaps forum had a poll to find the hottest moment on TV in 2006. The winning scene was Eric Dane emerging from the shower in Grey's Anatomy. And honestly, who can blame them. I mean, look at him.

And clearly having him enter the scene whilst still wrapping himself in the towel was the genius moment that tipped the voting. Delicious.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Google scares me

More specifically, the stuff people type into google that brings them to my blog can scare me. There is the expected stuff. My recent John Barrowman entry brought me a lot of traffic, thanks to both being linked on film experience and the google searches involving his name and another specific (wedding, attitude and cock, to be precise). And people have found my blog searching for golden globes, bed midbeams (enduringly popular, that one, clearly Ikea and their stupid bed midbeam idea suckers in a lot of people) and celebrity bulges. All of those are to be expected, right? What I was not expecting was someone to land on my blog by googling the following:

Kicked to death stilettos.

I kid you not, gentle readers. I don't know what's more frightening. The fact that someone actually searched for that phrase or that a combination of those words were found on my blog. You be the judge.

Supernatural bulging

God bless you, queerclick. I was perusing their site this morning and found these pics of Jensen Ackles all but busting out of his dress pants. Supernatural is a treat as both he and Mr Paladecki are just so easy to look at anyway, but this little photo set is a much bigger treat. Enjoy.

Edited to say: wow the pics came out small, despite using the "large"option (ahem) when I uploaded them. Clicking on the image enlarges it sufficiently though (ahem).

Friday, December 15, 2006

PCB and GG Nominations

The nominations are out for the Golden Globes. What follows is a long list of them, with my thoughts and comments. Enjoy.

Best film - Drama

The big winner in terms of nominees, but will it win out on the night? I can’t comment as this was the other movie I had to give up a ticket for when I went to NYC recently. It opens in the UK next month.

The Departed

An amazing film. Looks like my prediction of it being overlooked at awards time was wrong.

Little Children

Didn't see it. Am dying to and will see it the instant it's out on DVD.

The Queen

A very very good if not entirely great film. I think it’s getting a lot of the attention for its subject matter and its performances rather than the finished product


Doesn't open in the UK until January so again I have no comment.

Best film - Musical Or Comedy



Little Miss Sunshine

Another film I managed to miss, much to my chagrin. Nobody who saw it has a bad word to say about it so it would be nice if this was the little film that could and picked up the award on the night.


However, if this film doesn't walk off with the big prize, I will be shocked.

The Devil Wears Prada

Not overly sure the film as a whole merits a nomination. Yes it's cute and yes it's funny but really.

Thank You For Smoking

Another film that passed me by. For some reason I really couldn't be bothered to drag myself to the movies much over the summer.

Best director - film

Clint Eastwood - Flags of Our Fathers
Clint Eastwood - Letters from Iwo Jima

So Clint gets two nominations for director. And yet Flags wasn't considered good enough for a Best Picture nod? Man, I bet Martin Scorcese hates him. Chances are though the dual nominations will end up cancelling each other out.

Stephen Frears - The Queen

I seriously doubt he's in with a shot of winning but the direction of the movie is brilliantly understated so it's a deserved nomination.

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu - Babel

If only because he directed Amores Perros, he should win.

Martin Scorsese - The Departed

It's a return to form that does truly deserve all the accolades. I am really surprised to see the nomination though, I honestly thought it would be a little too much for awards ceremonies. But then, GoodFellas got like eight million nominations so what do I know?

Best performance by an actress in a film - Drama
Penelope Cruz - Volver

I know it's wrong, but I hate her. She's apparently much less annoying and a far better actress when she's using her native language but I don't know if I agree with that. However, Volver is yet another film I didn't see, so I don't know if I hate her in it. But I do hate her.

Judi Dench - Notes on a Scandal

This woman can do no wrong. Seriously. None.

Maggie Gyllenhaal - Sherrybaby

She's so effing talented and it's nice to see her being nominated for anything, frankly.

Kate Winslet - Little Children

See above.

Helen Mirren - The Queen

This is the performance to beat though. Mirren has done pretty much a clean sweep since the film debuted on the festival circuit so if she doesn't win, I'll be stunned.

Best performance by an actor in a film - Drama

Leonardo DiCaprio - Blood Diamond
Leonardo DiCaprio - The Departed

Another dual nomination, one very much deserved (The Departed), the other, judging from the trailer as the film doesn't open in the UK until next year, very much not. His accent in Blood Diamond is a joke, for starters.

Peter O'Toole - Venus

I didn't even know this performance had any awards buzz about it.

Will Smith - The Pursuit of Happyness

Eh, I find him inoffensive enough but dear CHRIST this film looks bad. It looks like the worst kind of cloying sentimental claptrap. I wouldn't see it with someone else's eyes.

Forest Whitaker - The Last King of Scotland

The male Helen Mirren. If he doesn't walk off with the Globe, I'll be stunned.

Best performance by an actress in a film - Musical or Comedy

Annette Bening - Running With Scissors
Toni Collette - Little Miss Sunshine
Beyonce Knowles - Dreamgirls
Meryl Streep - The Devil Wears Prada
Renee Zellweger - Miss Potter

I've only seen one of these performances (Streep) so I will not do individual comments on them this time. But if Beyonce wins, I'll be furious.

Best performance by an actor in a film - Musical Or Comedy

Sacha Baron Cohen - Borat


Johnny Depp - Pirates of the Caribbean

Is that a joke? He was horrendous in this movie. He barely deserved his nomination for the first film, where he was actually good.

Aaron Eckhart - Thank You for Smoking
Chiwetel Ejiofor - Kinky Boots
Will Ferrell - Stranger than Fiction

Again, I haven't seen those last three performances so I can't really say anything. I would love to see Ejiofor win though, purely because he's incredible in everything I have seen him in.

Best performance by an actress in a supporting role in a film

Adriana Barraza - Babel
Cate Blanchett - Notes on a Scandal
Emily Blunt - The Devil Wears Prada
Jennifer Hudson - Dreamgirls
Rinko Kikuchi - Babel

Wow I suck. I've only seen one of these performances too. And it's the nomination I'm probably happiest about. Emily Blunt is just glorious. Good for her.

Best performance by an actor in a supporting role in a film

Ben Affleck - Hollywoodland
Eddie Murphy - Dreamgirls
Jack Nicholson - The Departed
Brad Pitt - Babel
Mark Wahlberg - The Departed

Ok, so continuing on the theme of sucking, I have only seen two performances here. And I am so shocked at Marky Mark's nomination. He was the one blot on The Departed's landscape. Horrible. Matt Damon was much more deserving of a nod.

Best foreign language film

Apocalypto (US)

Crazy Mel's follow up to The Jesus Chainsaw Massacre hasn't been anywhere near as successful but the critics seemed to love it, which would explain this nomination I suppose.

Letters From Iwo Jima (US)

Will more than likely be the winner in this category, I would think, given the head of steam it's building up (which would explain why the release date was moved up from February 07).

The Lives of Others (Germany)
Pan's Labyrinth (Mexico)

I would love to see this movie win though. It's just so fucking amazing.

Volver (Spain)

Best animated feature film

Happy Feet
Monster House

I haven't seen any of these. My inner child hates me.

Best screenplay - film

Guillermo Arriaga - Babel
Todd Field and Tom Perrotta - Little Children
Patrick Marber - Notes on a Scandal
William Monahan - The Departed
Peter Morgan - The Queen

Why don't the GG's split adapted and original? That doesn't really seem very fair.

Best original song - film
Listen - Dreamgirls
Never Gonna Break My Faith - Bobby
The Song of the Heart - Happy Feet
Try Not to Remember - Home of the Brave
A Father's Way - The Pursuit of Happyness

Does anybody honestly think anything other than Dreamgirls will take this category?

Best original score - film

Alexandre Desplat - The Painted Veil
Clint Mansell - The Fountain
Gustavo Santaolalla - Babel
Carlo Siliotto - Nomad
Hans Zimmer - The Da Vinci Code

I can only assume Zimmer's nomination is a joke of some kind. I love Clint Mansell's work generally so it would be nice to see him win. The Fountain tanked and has absolutely no buzz whatsoever though so I don't really think his triumph is likely.

Best television series - Drama


This nod would be for the 5th season, which I have to say I didn't think much of. They really had to s t r e t c h out the plot to get it to the full 24 episodes.

Big Love

Can we say boring? I'm willing to give it a second chance on DVD but the first two episodes bored me so intensely I didn't watch any more of it.

Grey's Anatomy

God I love this show. And the second season was pretty fucking incredible. So it would be nice, after it left the Emmys with egg all over its face, to see the show pick up the award here.


Starts in the UK in February and I seriously CANNOT wait.


This nod is for the second season, which was a little bit shit. And not just because it had a tough act to follow after its brilliant first season. It was a little bit shit because it did nothing for the majority of the season. All this great promise was squandered and the bollocks with the hatch and the button was particularly annoying. I seriously hope it doesn't win.

Best performance by an actress in a television series - Drama

Patricia Arquette - Medium

Love her. And she is utterly mesmerising in this show. Her style is perfect for the role.

Edie Falco - Sopranos

I've never seen a single episode, but Edie Falco pretty much kicks ass in everything she does.

Evangeline Lilly - Lost

What? Why?

Ellen Pompeo - Grey's Anatomy

Oh fuck off, really? She's hateful awful in the show. I have said it before but it takes a talented actress to take someone as patently unloveable and annoying as Meredith and make you care about her and you, Ms Pompeo, are not that actress.

Kyra Sedgwick - The Closer

Never seen it but I've also never seen a bad Kyra Sedgwick performance.

Best performance by an actor in a television series - Drama

Patrick Dempsey - Grey's Anatomy

He's so hot. He's really grown into his looks and his talent.

Michael C Hall - Dexter

I've not seen this show but it would be nice for Hall to win if only to make up for the lack of love he was shown for his on the money performance as David Fisher in Six Feet Under.

Hugh Laurie - House

I've only seen a handful of episodes but Laurie has been pretty outstanding in all of them. It's a brilliantly written character and Laurie has one of the most convincing American accents around.

Bill Paxton - Big Love

If they give it to him, will he stop taking his clothes off on the show?

Kiefer Sutherland - 24

His character had no arc this season. All he did was shout for 24 episodes.

Best television series - Musical Or Comedy

Desperate Housewives

The second season sucked. I gave up on it.


Absolute comedy genius.

The Office

I hate the UK version so I have no desire to ever see the US one.


I have only seen a few episodes (I have the whole first season on DVD I just haven't watched it all yet) but it's top notch stuff, judging on what I have seen.

Ugly Betty

Not on in the UK yet...

Best performance by an actress in a television series - Musical Or Comedy

Marcia Cross - Desperate Housewives
America Ferrera - Ugly Betty
Felicity Huffman - Desperate Housewives
Julia Louis-Dreyfus - The New Adventures of Old Christine
Mary-Louise Parker - Weeds

I'm starting to bore myself now and I am sure nobody is still reading by this point, so I'll just say if anyone but Parker wins this, there will be hell to pay.

Best performance by an actor in a television series - Musical Or Comedy

Alec Baldwin - 30 Rock
Zach Braff - Scrubs
Steve Carrell - The Office
Jason Lee - My Name is Earl
Tony Shalhoub - Monk

As much as I love Zach Braff, I think if there's any justice the award will go to Jason Lee.

Best mini-series or film made for television

Bleak House
Prime Suspect: The Final Act
Broken Trail
Elizabeth I
Mrs Harris

Surely this award belongs to Bleak House. It was an epic adaptation, ambitious as well as innovative and packed to drawstrings with great performances.

Best performance by an actress in a mini-series or film made for television

Gillian Anderson - Bleak House

Whatthefuckever. Hers was probably the weakest link in a very strong chain. That Anna Maxwell Martin has been overlooked is travesty.

Annette Bening - Mrs Harris
Helen Mirren - Elizabeth I
Helen Mirren - Prime Suspect: The Final Act

Not content with winning every film award under the sun, Mirren doubles her TV award chances with this dual nomination. Her final performance as Jane Tennison is richly deserving of all the praise being heaped upon it.

Sophie Okonedo - Tsunami: The Aftermath

Best performance by an actor in a mini-series or film made for television

Andre Braugher - Thief
Robert Duvall - Broken Trail
Michael Ealy - Sleeper Cell: American Terror
Chiwetel Ejiofor - Tsunami: The Aftermath
Bill Nighy - Gideon's Daughter
Ben Kingsley - Mrs. Harris
Matthew Perry - The Ron Clark Story

Why so many nominations in this category? Bill Nighy was wonderful in Gideon's Daughter, it has to be said.

Best performance by an actress in a supporting role in a series, mini-series or film made for television

Toni Collette - Tsunami: The Aftermath
Emily Blunt - Gideon's Daughter
Katherine Heigl - Grey's Anatomy
Sarah Paulson - Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip
Elizabeth Perkins - Weeds

Gosh I am actually torn here. I documented my love for Ms Blunt at the beginning of what has now become the world's longest blog entry. But Heigl was superb in Grey's, her character arc was the most interesting and challenging of the lot. And Perkins performance in Weeds is a joy to behold.

Best performance by an actor in a supporting role in a series, mini-series or film made for television

Thomas Haden Church - Broken Trail
Jeremy Irons - Elizabeth I
Justin Kirk - Weeds
Masi Oka - Heroes
Jeremy Piven - Entourage

They probably needn't have bothered with the first four nominees. This award has Piven's name all over it.

So there you are. That's my not terribly coherent take on the Golden Globes. I am very hungover right now so cut me some slack.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

BAFTA change the rules

According to IMDb, BAFTA have changed the rules as to which films they can consider for nominations. Rather than allowing films released up to the end of March to be considered, only films released prior to the awards ceremony will now be eligible. As next year's ceremony is on February 11th, there's a little bit of a hoo and a ha going on because Letters From Iwo Jima, The Good Shepherd and The Good German all have release dates after that in the UK. According to Adam Dawtrey, from Variety, "This strikes at the very heart of the question of what commercial impact BAFTA actually has for distributors."

Actually, for me, it strikes at the heart of why the UK has to wait so fucking long for movies that are out in the US before Christmas. And in general in fact. It drives me absolutely batshit when movies are held up for seemingly no reason. In a time when the industry is bleating about piracy and the money it's costing them, to me it doesn't make fundamental economic sense to delay the release of high profile movies. That's just going to drive people to obtain them illegally. When it's so cheap and easy to do that, why would people wait?

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

I love John Barrowman

And I am not ashamed to say it! Not only is he super hot -

- see?, but he's also an out and proud proper gay homosexualist and has plenty to say on the matter. He's also very funny. Recently he took part in Attitude magazine's regular feature, "Any Queries?" where readers send in questions and the best ones are answered. Here are some choice samples from the interview:

When asked about the nude scene he shot for Doctor Who, he had this to say: "There is footage out there in the ether of me with naked with my pert bottom and my HUUUUUUUUUUGGGGGEEEEE cock hanging out. What, you think I'm gonna say average?"

When asked about if watching Doctor Who as a child made him hide behind the sofa, his response was "I didn't hide behind the sofa, I sat on the sofa with a pillow in front of my face. Or my face in a pillow....which sometimes happens these days."

But when asked if he would seriously consider pursuing a career in Hollywood, he gets much more serious: "If Hollywood ever said we want you, I would go, but I am not going to pursue it. To be honest with you, it's gay men and women in America, in Hollywood, who are the worst and the most homophobic and it frightens me. There are casting people, industry people, they find out you're gay and they don't want to touch you, you're a hurdle to be overcome, you're not marketable. Well fuck you. We are marketable. Take a risk. You would change the industry and be a mover and shaker if you did something like that. I'm not an advocate of outing people at all. It's no-one's place to do that because people have emotional issues to deal with. But if you're creating a lie for Christ sake, that is not good. We need some huge Hollywood name to come out. I know a lot of people in this country who are in the closet and married. It's absolutely horrible. I find it difficult. I understand it but I want to say "why?". It's a slap in the face to the rest of us."

So there you are. John Barrowman, you are officially fabulous.

Friday, December 08, 2006

There's some hope for Dreamgirls yet

I haven't said a word about the most anticipated movie musical adaptation in, well, forever because I have been very apprehensive about it. The early trailers didn't make me excited and it seemed the problem that almost felled Chicago was very much present (the fact that the movie seemed to be edited with a lawnmower and then stuck together with crazy glue). However, friends have seen advance screenings and have loved it and now the early reviews are equally as awestruck. It's tracking an incredible 94 on Metacritic (though that is only based on 5 reviews so far) but it's this little snippet from Variety that has finally started getting PCB excited:

Finally. After "The Phantom of the Opera," "Rent" and "The Producers" botched the transfer from stage to screen, Dreamgirls gets it right. Bill Condon's adaptation of the 1981 show about a Motown trio's climb to crossover stardom pulls off the fundamental double-act those three musical pics all missed: It stays true to the source material while standing on its own as a fully reimagined movie.

Hopefully my avid dislike of Foxx and Knowles will not derail my movie enjoyment....

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Out of the frying pan, into the fire

I have officially given up with Lisey's Story. I had completely forgotten until they emailed me to tell me it was on its way, that I had pre-ordered Hannibal Rising from Amazon. It arrived on Tuesday so I kicked Stephen King to the kerb for Thomas Harris.

Well, the title of this entry should tell you how that's turning out. I'm only 40 pages in and it's a REAL struggle so far. It's horribly horribly written, the prose is so fucking godwaful and clumsy it makes Dan Brown look like Charles Dickens. Shame. I am going to persevere with it for a bit longer but my hopes really aren't high.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

TMI Tuesday and it's actually on a Tuesday

Who ever would have thought it? Those cunning folk over at TMI Tuesday (the blog is linked over yonder, under "Other Blog Joy To Behold") have me hooked. This is entry number 52.

1. You can flip a switch that will wipe any band or musical artist out of existence. Which one will it be?

Well this is actually a tough question. I am very much a creature of extremes and there are any number of bands and musical acts I would love to see wiped out of existence. Right now, I wouldn't be sorry to see the end of the Scissor Sisters and if someone gave me a gun and promised me I'd get away with it, Vanessa Carlton would be shot in the head pretty much right away. But if I have to choose, I'd go for Oasis. Hateful music and such swaggering arrogance and fake macho posturing. Vile.

2. You seem to be having an excellent day because you just came across a hundred-dollar bill on the sidewalk. Holy crap, a hundred bucks! How are you gonna spend it?

I'd give it to charity. Oh who am I kidding, I would totally spend it on DVDs and cake.

3. Rufus appears out of nowhere with a time-traveling phone booth. You can go anytime in the PAST. What time are you traveling to and what are you going to do when you get there?

Weimar Germany, at its height of decadence, prior to being wiped out by facism. It's only a tiny small period of history so I would live it up as decadently as I could.

4. What is your favorite curse word?

Without a shadow of a doubt, it has to be cunt.

5. You have the opportunity to sleep with the movie celebrity of your choice. We are talking no-strings-attached sex and it can only happen once. Who is the lucky celebrity of your choice?

I'm afraid I'm going to have to be greedy here as I couldn't narrow it down to one movie celebrity. I would have to be in the middle of a Jake Gyllenhaal/Paul Walker man-sandwich. If the rumors about each of them are true, I'd end up with a dislocated jaw and I wouldn't be able to sit down for like a week, but it would TOTALLY be worth it.

Bonus:You accidentally eat some radioactive vegetables. They were good, and what's even cooler is that they endow you with the super-power of your choice! What's it gonna be?

As fun as it would be to fly, leap tall buildings in a single bound, shoot lasers out of my eyes etc, I'm going to plump for invisibility. Purely because I'm so endlessly nosey it would allow me to snoop at my leisure. Hey, nobody ever said I had to use my powers for good now did they?

Monday, December 04, 2006

An emotional journey on the Shortbus

Just two days after I proclaimed Pan's Labyrinth as my possible film of the year, along comes Shortbus. I was expecting a cute and frivolous movie with some ok acting and lots of sex. What I got was a very honest, emotional, raw and deep film that I found profoundly affecting. The only things I was right about was the ok acting and the sex.

I can't really write a proper entry about it because it honestly bowled me over. I even got a little bit tearful at the end. I identified so much with some of the people and situations it was uncanny. It also made me laugh very hard indeed. It's a truly great film and I urge everyone to see it.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

El Laberinto Del Fauno

After working a very long week of 10 or 12 hour days and only Sunday off, I went to see Pan's Labyrinth last night. It may very well end up being my film of the year, I absolutely LOVED it. In all honesty I don't think I have a bad word to say about it.

It was much harsher and more explicitly violent than I was expecting, not to mention downright terrifying in places. It's billed as a fairy tale for grown ups. Very accurate. Set at the end of the Spanish Civil War, it focuses on a little girl with a vivid imagination whose mother has embarked on a relationship with a facist army captain. They are taken to the edge of a forest where a group of rebels are hiding out, pursued by said captain and his army. Running parallel to this storyline is the fairy tale part whereby the little girl, Ofelia, discovers the titular labyrinth and Pan, who believes her to be the reincarnated spirit of the king's daughter from his world. He sets her a series of tasks to prove to herself that she is the princess and can return to the world she left behind.

Such an outlandish premise could quite easily have been an absolute disaster. Guillermo Del Toro manages to make it work beautifully, never putting a foot wrong and unbalancing the picture. The performances are all wonderful, particularly Ivana Baquero as Ofelia. It becomes increasingly intense as the film progresses and the two worlds begin to encroach on each other and if the entirely pitch perfect ending doesn't leave you with a lump in your throat and wanting to believe in fairy tales, well then you have no soul. If there's any justice, this film will pick up a shedload of awards in the coming months.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

This song

was number one in the UK on the day I was born. My only question would be why? Telly Savalas, bloody Kojak, talking his way through a song while a female choir chimes in occasionally. Dear Christ.

Friday, December 01, 2006

TMI time

Thanks to Dirk Mancuso (click his link over on the right), I have discovered TMI Tuesday. Everyone should check it out, five questions every Tuesday, the answers of which require the imparting of TMI. Genius. In what may become a regular feature on here, I am going to be answering some of their questions. This is number 50:

1. What's the longest you've ever gone without a shower? Almost a week. It was SO nasty but it wasn't my fault. At the start of the second year of university I was out at some club getting down with my bad self when my knee gave out. The tendons down the side of my kneecap snapped and pulled a small part of the kneecap out with it. I was laid up in bed for a week initially and by the time I was mobile enough to get my ass in the shower, I have NEVER been more grateful. I can't stand being dirty and it drove me crazy.

2. Do you use a q-tip? If so, how often? Every day after I shower, I clean out my ears.

3. Do you have any piercings, if so where? Any for sexual purposes? None at all. I have tried and failed to have a nose piercing three times and my ear was pierced once, which also ended in disaster and is actually tied to the knee catastrophe above. About a week before I was felled by the dodgy tendons, I got my ear pierced. In the ensuing horror of not being able to walk (or indeed wash) the regular caring for a new piercing was forgotten about. So of course, it got infected. The back of it was leaking some nasty gunk and I kept twisting it to free it up. In doing so, I pulled the stud INTO my ear and then IT GREW OVER. So my housemate, for I was too much of a pussy, had to take the back off the stud and then push the fucking thing out of my ear. After that, I swore never ever again. Ever.

4. Oral sex... give or receive? Well it's my favourite sex activity so I like to spend hours doing both.

5. Sex while on the period... ick? Sex that involves lady parts in any capacity is ick, thanks for asking.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

People On Internet Message Boards Say The Darndest Things #3

This little gem is once again brought to you by Just Us Boys, this time talking about Patrick Wilson and his latest movie, Little Children:

"He has a decent ass, which he also showed in "Angels In America", but apparently there is no full-frontal in "Little Children". If he'd had the balls to show his cock like Ewan McGregor does I might go and see the movie, but since he didn't there's no point."

I had to read that twice to make sure the person saying it really was basing his decision on seeing what is apparently an incredible movie on whether or not Patrick Wilson whips his knob out. And it would seem he is. Dear oh dear.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Lisey Landon can bite me

I blogged a little while back about giving up on the Booker Prize and instead my next book would be Stephen King's new book, Lisey's Story. I was looking forward to it a lot, because after some time off the boil, Cell had signalled a return to form. Well that'll teach me because Lisey's Story S U C K S. It's laboured, it's tiresome, it's structurally all over the fucking place. Most damagingly of all, the internal language of the central relationship and indeed the relationship itself is maddeningly irritating. I am hating every page of it to the point that I just ordered two new books off Amazon (Rupert Everett's memoir Red Carpets & Other Banana Skins and the apparently wonderful Special Topics In Calamity Physics) and when they arrive, Stephen King's latest effort is going in the trash. Shame.

Movies on the PCB Radar: December 2006

Ok given that it's December on Friday (scary, no?) I figured it was time for this. So let's start with what we have opening this weekend:

Not really sure why this is on my radar, I think it must be for the supporting cast and the intriguing premise. I can't abide Will Ferrell. I remember when Empire Magazine ran a feature on him a year or so back titled "The Funniest Man You've Never Heard Of". I channeled Karen Walker and intoned "honey do you know how many things are wrong with that sentence?"

This is here for more obvious reasons. It's a John Cameron Mitchell film, packed to the hilt with sex. Bring it on. I had to give up a ticket to an advance screening of this in favour of my recent trip to NYC so I am glad it's come out so quick.

And from one end of the spectrum to the other. This hasn't been the runaway smash hit expected, joining a surprisingly long list of kiddy friendly flops this year. The premise is decidedly odd but hey it looks like it could be fun.

December 8th:

Only a couple make the radar this week. There is one film opening this weekend that I am studiously ignoring. The Holiday looks like the worst kind of schmaltzy tosh around and I would sooner stick needles in my eyes than suffer through Cameron Diaz being whiny. I hate her. But anyway, on to films I actually want to see:

I've been excited about this since seeing a teaser trailer over the summer. It just looks too cute for words. And it seems unstoppable in the US, even kicking Bond into touch. So yay penguins.

Please note, I am under no illusions that the above will be a good film. It will, however, be full of pretty boys in various states of undress and who doesn't like looking at that?

December 15th:

This could be the Lord Of The Rings of 2006. Or it could be this year's Dragonheart. It's all to play for at the moment but the trailer looks exciting enough.

Tony Scott is a ridiculous hack and Denzel is so worthy it bores me senseless. And yet I want to see this. The plot looks like it's going to be incoherent to the point of insanity but it intrigues me still.

I know I know. It's wrong to want to see this. But I don't care. I love horror movies and I live in hope with each subsequent remake that one of them will be good. The Texas Chainsaw remake did scare me silly but the rest of the crop have been a joke. Well, if nothing else I can see this and hope that Michelle Trachtenberg meets the screaming bloody death she so richly deserves.

December 22nd:

Nothing says "it's nearly Christmas" like a film about the fate of the people in the iconic Iwo Jima snap, does it?

December 26th:

And the day after Christmas is the perfect time for this. I included both posters as they're so gosh darned purty. Now, the book of Perfume didn't thrill me and I HATED Run Lola Run so this is on my radar for one reason only. Ben Whishaw. He's had theatre critics frothing at the mouth for a couple of years now but I haven't seen anything he's done. He seems to be the Next Big Thing though so we'll see how he shapes up.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Royale with cheese

I saw Casino Royale over the weekend. The reviews have been very strong, it's done incredibly well at the box office, and the trailer gets me all kinds of excited. That the film itself would end up falling short is I suppose kind of inevitable.

There were many many plus points. Daniel Craig is the best thing to happen to the franchise in absolutely ages. I am so pleased they hired someone who is an actor first and a prime slab of beef second. His performance was wonderful and elevated the film to a whole different level. He was matched, nay outclassed, by Judi Dench as M, who may just be the best thing to EVER happen to the franchise. And when it comes to mesmerising, I was unable to take my eyes off Eva Green. She's impossibly sexy, with the most intoxicating voice AND she sure can act. Wonderful.

Unfortunately, the film is hamstrung by a plot that is, to be kind, all over the place. It's a long film and yet the plot seems rushed and shoehorned in, never being given time to breathe properly. The main baddy, Le Chiffre, is bland and dull and most unforgivably, is offed by someone other than Bond. The film's biggest fault though is the last half an hour or so, where James suddenly goes all soppy for Vesper and decides to travel around the world with her and renounce his double O status. It's hammily written and the scenario doesn't fit the characters and it totally fails to convince.

That said, I didn't hate the film, I actually quite enjoyed it. Top class performers can make you forget you're watching substandard material. The future for the franchise is undeniably bright and here's hoping the next film heads in the right direction.

Friday, November 24, 2006

PCB and the NYC Return, Part Five (Leaving on a jet plane)

And so it’s my last day in NYC already. I am having a long brunch with my dear friend Rachel, who is British but her father is American so she has just moved to NYC. She lives in the West Village in a teeny tiny apartment. I get to her place at about noon, dump my bags and we head out to a local diner for food. Whenever I see her, once we’re done catching each other up on our lives, we love nothing more than bitchy celebrity gossip. So that’s what we do.

She lives about a block and a half from Magnolia Bakery, so after we’re done at the diner, we stop by for cup cakes and red velvet cake. The place is heaving so we take it back to her apartment and spend a couple more hours of idle chatter. And then all too soon it’s time for me to leave for the airport. Thinking that as it’s a Sunday afternoon, the journey won’t be too bad to JFK, I don’t get a cab until about 4:15pm. I don’t get to JFK until a little after 5pm as it’s insanely bad traffic all the way. And the fun is only just beginning.

Having had the worst time getting out of JFK when I arrived, I now have the worst time checking back in. Rather than having each flight allocated to a set of desks, Delta has the bright idea of having all check in desks available for all international flights and just having one line. Said line is out of the terminal and down the street. My flight closes in 45 minutes. Fuck. Miraculously, they get it together and I get checked in. I then have to take my checked in baggage to a different end of the terminal as for some reason they can’t put it on the conveyor belts. I queue again to do this. I then queue once more to pass through security, which involves removing my belt, shoes, watch, ring, inhaler, loose change and god knows what else from my person. I make it to the gate at 6:15pm and luckily as the flight is only a third full, they haven’t started boarding yet.

We’re boarded and ready for take off 10 minutes early. So are 40 other planes, and we get an hour’s delay. Fun. I take two max strength Tylenol PM and the next thing I know, I’m being served breakfast about an hour outside of Gatwick. Praise be.

The idea behind such a lightning fast visit was I wouldn’t give myself time to get too attached again. It didn’t work. Within 30 minutes of being in Manhattan, I didn’t want to leave again. The trip as a whole was much more difficult and emotional than I expected it to be. I was very grateful to the network of friends I spent time with for making it as much fun as it could be though. As for what the future holds, who can say?

Thursday, November 23, 2006

PCB and the NYC Return, Part Four (Collapse into me, tired with joy)

Saturday I am leaving Joizey behind me and heading up to Eric’s apartment way WAY uptown as I’m spending my last night on his couch. I make it to his apartment with just enough time to turn around and go all the way back to make it to the 2pm show of Grey Gardens. I bought Eric the ticket as a thank you for both spending the night on his couch and the last year of support he’s provided me.

The show is fabulous even if it is two different shows. I can’t work out why they chose to extrapolate details from the documentary about their life prior to the documentary and turn it into a whole act. I honestly think the show would be better served if there was no first act and the second act was expanded and extended. In its current format, it comes off as schizophrenic, but for all I know, that may have been the point. However, it’s all about Christine Ebersole. Her performance in this show is the stuff of legend. There are good performances, there are great performances and then there are “Merman in Gypsy” kind of performances, if you know what I mean.

In Act One, as Edith, she’s wonderful. Her voice is beautiful, she’s very funny but she also gives Edith depth that prevents the character from being a parody. In Act Two, as Edie, she truly comes into her own. The impersonation is absolutely dead on, but it’s so much more than that. Edie is given layers and emotions that aren’t necessarily discernible from the documentary. The Act Two opener, “The Revolutionary Costume”, is a very good song, but in Ebersole’s hands, it becomes a show stopping masterpiece. According to John, who works stage door there, that number has received its fair share of standing ovations. Quite right too. And anyone who stays dry eyed during “Another Winter In A Summer Town” has no soul. Hell, it gave me chills just typing the title.

After the show, Eric and I are having dinner with my friend Christina. She works as the kid wrangler on Mary Poppins so she has two hours between shows. When I meet her at stage door, we have the following conversation:

Me: Hi! Eric is joining us for dinner if that’s ok
Her: So is a 12 year old. Her mother couldn’t make it in to collect her.

So we had to dine with a child star. She’s been in The Forgotten and everything. Anyway, it’s fine and it’s wonderful to see her and we have fun but the not being able to swear or gossip was a scooch annoying.

After that it’s time to go back and walk the pooch before heading back down town to Beauty Bar for the main event of my trip: Guido’s party. When I arrive, he is absolutely blown away and we hug for like 5 minutes. I had daydreamed about what his reaction might be, but I didn’t expect him to cry. But cry he did. I make him stop as I am so tired and emotional at this point, crying wouldn’t be a good idea for me. It’s so wonderful to see him I can’t even tell you and this alone would make the trip worth it. Given that I had been so despondent the day before I was ready to change my flight and go home, today has really turned it all around. We catch up, we chat, we drink, it’s just lovely. But then I have to say goodbye to him and it’s my turn to cry. A lot. The realisation that he’s moving 3000 miles further away from me and I have no clue when I will get to see him again really hits me and I have a weep on him.

Eric, John and I then go to an all night diner for some food. It’s like 1:45am, so it’s perfect timing for a burger I always think. Both Eric and I are so tired by this point, we get a cab home and I am in bed and asleep by 3am. I manage to sleep until 6:45am which is better than nothing but dear God, when will this jet lag ever end?

PCB and the NYC Return, Part Three (Such a beautiful disaster)

Yes, sadly Friday of last week is when everything went to shit. Remember how I had a job interview and a date lined up for today? They both were cancelled. The person who was supposed to be interviewing me is having work done at her apartment. An idiot workman left a tool box in the middle of the floor for her to trip over, which she did, falling on to her elbow and chipping the bone in the process. She's been signed off work until Monday, and of course I leave on Sunday. She emails me and tells me to meet with a colleague of hers instead. So I do and he seems mystified as to why I am there because "we're not actually hiring right now". Great.

My date, bless him, got strep throat and was quarantined. So instead of spending the night with him, I was back on Lottie's couch. We planned to see Babel but I was too tired. I toyed with the idea of seeing a show, but was too tired. My friend Erik wanted to hang out but a big miscommunication meant that didn't happen either. So I was asleep by 10pm. Of course, I woke up again at 4am. Great.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

PCB and the NYC Return, Part Two (Travel, Arrival)

I booked my flight with Delta as it was the only direct flight I to NYC I could find out of Gatwick for the time I wanted to leave. Ideally, I wanted to fly into Newark, but I had to settle for JFK. No biggie. So I get to the airport, planning to get away with just hand luggage. My bag is one inch bigger than the maximum dimensions allowed one way and one inch shorter another way, so the capacity is still the maximum allowed. However, unless your bag fits EXACTLY into this box they have at check in, you aren’t allowed to take it on the plane. So they made me check my bag. Bastards.

It then turned out to be Delta’s inaugural flight to JFK from Gatwick, so there is canapés and cake at the departure gate, which is kind of fun. The flight itself is fine except it’s not quite full and I am lucky enough that the seat in front of me is unoccupied. So of course, the unspeakable cunt in the seat next to it, moves into the empty seat and then reclines and sprawls her ass across both seats for the entire flight. I spend 7 hours with my knees jammed pointedly in her back. It’s only when I land that things start to go a little haywire. It has never taken me more than twenty minutes to get through immigration and customs and then into a cab. But I’ve always flown BA up until now. As well as my flight from Gatwick, 7 other flights from Europe arrive AT THE SAME TIME. Consequently, the immigration line looks like the line for a theme park ride at the height of summer and it takes over an hour to get through. Fun. The line for cabs was similarly ridiculous. And then, there’s some crazy storm coming apparently (there’s a tornado watch in South Jersey and everything), so everyone is leaving work early and so Manhattan is gridlocked. Having landed at just before 2pm, I finally make it to my dear friend Eric’s office at 4:45pm.

Ah yes, let me just say a word about Eric. He’s been such a rock throughout the past year, I honestly don’t know what I would have done without him. I’m so excited to see him again I can’t hardly stand it. We immediately head over to Billy’s Bakery to indulge my craving for red velvet cake. He very sweetly buys me my slice and a cup of coffee. Then we wander up 8th Avenue to midtown and I try my luck at getting tickets for The Vertical Hour. Result, they have some partially obstructed view seats for $60. I am staying tonight with my equally dear friend Lottie, freshly moved to Noo Joizey from West Hollywood. I’m meeting her at 6:15pm at my favourite diner and have fooled her into thinking we’re seeing Spring Awakening. A pit stop at the Walter Kerr to say hi to another rock like friend, Jerby, pick up my cell phone charger and drop my bag in for him to look after and I’m at Renaissance Diner right on time.

It’s so exciting to see Lottie too. To find someone who is so on my wavelength about so much (though not of course everything) is a real rarity. We met 5 years ago in line at a Tori Amos concert and have been firm friends ever since. So we catch up on each other’s news and then before we know it, it’s time to head out to the theatre. We step outside to discover the much heralded rain storm has most definitely arrived. A short walk from 50th and 9th to 45th and 8th results in being absolutely soaked to the bone. Thankfully the seats directly in front of us are not sold as they’re too obstructed view-wise, so we get to hang our coats up and drip dry for the two and a half hours of the play.

And what of the play? Sadly, it’s not great. It was very weak and everything about it felt very forced. David Hare hates Americans so much that he can’t write a convincing American character anymore and thus poor Julianne Moore is struggling with some clumsy material. Through no fault of her own, she is acted off the stage by Bill Nighy. Somewhat more troubling for her is her character in it is in favour of the current conflict in Iraq and the kind of people who are going to go see the new David Hare play on Broadway aren’t going to be in favour of that. Consequently, they hate her character and her reception at the curtain call was muted, to say the least.

And then it’s time for the purchasing of the new laptop. After the horror of trying to get served in the Apple Store in Soho last summer, I decided it would be easier to go late at night to the new 5th Avenue Superstore. I was right. I am served with my new and beautiful iBook in moments. It’s so white and shiny and pretty. He needs a name though, something to reflect his streamlined beauty. I’m still thinking on it, all suggestions gratefully received. Slight hiccup in my card being declined so I had to call them and prove that it was me, I was in NY and I was trying to spend $1200. Not what you need when you’re heading into the 24th hour of being awake.

Then it’s back to Lottie’s absolutely enormous loft apartment in New Jersey. We catch up some more and I play with the new laptop and then suddenly it’s 2am and I am shattered. I crash out on the couch, safe in the knowledge that such tiredness overrules the jetlag and I’ll sleep right through to 9am at least. So I’m obviously thrilled when I wake up at 4am and despite my best efforts, I don’t go back to sleep….

To be continued.

PCB and the NYC Return, Part One

We'll start with the reasons why I decided to go back for a long weekend:

One of my dearest and closest friends lives in NYC. He has just landed a job in LA and is leaving on Dec 1st. He had a Goodbye NY party this past Saturday at Beauty Bar. I decided to fly out and surprise him at the party. Due to the top secret nature of my trip, I had to keep it very quiet, no mention of it on here at all and only a select few New York friends were told I was coming. I was there for such an insanely small amount of time, I had to restrict myself to the people I have come to know the best and and miss the most.

I also had a job interview lined up for the Friday. Plus a hot date with a guy I've been talking to online for like a year now on the Friday night. This trip had the potential to be truly life changing in those regards. I have been secretly working on a possible job connection for a few weeks, telling absolutely nobody about it. Reason being, if it all fell apart, I couldn't face having to say to everyone again that it had done so. You know?

But the real question is, how could I afford to up and fly out to NYC on such a whim? Well, remember how I work at American Express? If you work there, they will approve you for a card without doing a credit check. Well, more fool them. So I got myself a RED card and away I went. My boss was telling me how, if you get an Amex card, and you treat it well, your credit rating sky rockets reasonably quickly. I didn't think she was serious until I applied for an Egg card online after having my RED card for just 4 months. I was instantly approved, with a limit of £3500. So, when Guido was telling me of his party plans on AIM, my train of thought was literally "I can't afford to fly out and see him, so annoying. Wait a second, yes I can." And my flight was booked the next day.

To be continued...

RIP Robert Altman

While I may have run hot and cold where his films were concerned (Pret A Porter remains one of the worst films I have ever seen, while The Player is a work of genius), there's no denying that Hollywood lost a unique and visionary filmmaker on Monday.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

A summary

So, what has been happening, other than my boss not knowing what buggery was? Actually, not a huge amount. I obviously have a new laptop and the story behind its purchase is a whole entry in itself. That’s coming, so stay tuned.

I did get to see some of the movies on my radar. Starter For Ten, The Prestige and Saw III to be exact. I have to say I really enjoyed Starter For Ten. James McAvoy is always fun to watch and he elevated the material to a whole different level with the kind of performance you don’t usually see in a flimsy rom com. Rebecca Hall was also utterly fantastic as one of the two women he finds himself drawn too. Ms Hall also turned up in The Prestige as Christian Bale’s doomed wife and on the basis of these two performances, I would say she’s going to be a name to watch. The Prestige was great, though I got the feeling it has been massively over simplified from its source novel. I guessed all the twists before they happened, anyway. Scarlett Johansson gave her first below par performance, bless her. She was struggling so hard to do a British accent, she totally forgot to act. And she sounded like me when I do an impression of someone doing a bad accent, which didn’t help. Saw III was shit. Not even worth talking about.

Work trundles on aimlessly enough. The summer backlog is well and truly out of the way though, we say amen and hallelujah. Financially that’s not a good thing as it means bye bye overtime. Gutted. On the other hand, it turns out that overdraft charges have been deemed unlawful in the UK and if you go about it in the right way, you can reclaim six years worth of charges back from your bank. I went through three years worth of internet statements (thank GOD for internet banking) and mine have charged me £1046. So I’m in the process of sending letters to get it all back.

Which brings us neatly back to the story of How I Bought My Laptop. I went to New York for a long weekend. There were many reasons behind it, not just my overwhelming need to own a new laptop. The full story of PCB Takes Manhattan will follow soon enough.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Normal programming is back on the air

Later today there will be a return to the normal level of activity of this blog. Please stand by for further updates.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


Due to my blog suddenly becoming a little bit popular at work, I'm not taking any risks and deleting this entry.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Blog, Interrupted

Wednesday morning, while getting ready to go to London, I tipped over a cup of coffee. Into my laptop. The keyboard and mouse pad were initially a little unhappy but after being dried off and cleaned up, they were working fine. So I turned it off and went out for the day. I came home, turned it on to check my email. And nothing. Nada.

I checked with a mac expert who advised to dry it out thoroughly in an airing cupboard. I did, and last night it worked again, connecting to the internet just fine. However, the coffee had moved to behind the screen somehow so he advised turning it off and returning it to the airing cupboard. I did and now this morning when I turn it on, it gets as far as the grey start up screen. And no further. Shit.

I am on my housemate's desktop right now but obviously my access to that is limited. Since my cunty cunt of a boss moved desks and can see everything I am doing, my net access at work took a dive too. So blogging for the near future is going to be erratic to say the least. Sigh.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

I demand a recount

You scored as Straight Acting. Heya your on the straight and narrow but still enjoy a good cute guy with a pint of beer.

Straight Acting


A Big Bear


The all-round cute gay guy


Raging Queer


S + M guy




Straight Queer Basher


What type of Gay are YOU?
created with

This is NOT RIGHT I tell you!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Brad Pitt is all in a tizzy

Apparently considering legal action against Vanity Fair for publishing pics of him from an avant garde photo shoot without his permission. But I ask you, if you looked like this, would you really mind the world seeing the pics:

I mean, I know I wouldn't. And Just Us Boys presented themselves with their first darndest thing moment in a thread discussing how great the pics are:

"In my opinion, he's hot, but way too old." So there you have it. If you are approaching 43 and still look as good as Mr Pitt does, it doesn't matter. A 26 year old faggot has deemed you too old regardless.

In other news, it's my day off today and I have another extensive fun day in London planned. So of course, I woke up 45 minutes earlier than my alarm would go off on a work day and could NOT get back to sleep. Why, body? Why do you do this to me?

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Ryan and Reese

Gutted. Although I have to say it's not wholly surprising, especially after his somewhat over the top reaction when she won the Golden Globe. But still, gutted.

Halloween Disaster

So I had a wonderful idea for a Halloween cake. I was going to adulterate the red velvet cake, and wicked witch-ify it. Green sponge instead of red, black frosting instead of white. It was going to be so cool. In theory. In my head the Elpha-Cake was bright green sponge with jet black icing. One bite and you'd be defying calories.

However, first of all I toyed with the recipe, taking a recipe for a three tier cake and trying it in a two tier version. SO didn't work. The fucking thing wouldn't set in the middle but the outside was way overcooked. The sugar all separated out and rose to the top. And then there's the colour. Instead of bright Elphaba green, it ended up looking like something I had grown on my shower curtain. And the frosting turned purple instead of black. So it went in the bin. Gutted.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Fall Back

The clocks have gone back an hour and this means the summer is officially over. To mark the day, I am going to put the lyrics to one of my favourite songs up.

End of the Summer

The summer ends and we wonder where we are
And there you go, my friends, with your boxes in your car
And you both look so young
And last night was hard, you said
You packed up every room
And then you cried and went to bed
But today you closed the door and said
"We have to get a move on.
It's just that time of year when we push ourselves ahead,
We push ourselves ahead."

And it was cloudy in the morning
And it rained as you drove away
And the same things looked different
It's the end of the summer
It's the end of the summer,
When you move to another place

And I feel like the neighbor's girl who will never be the same
She walked alone all spring,
She had a boyfriend when the summer came
And he gave her flowers in a lightning storm
They disappeared at night in green fields of silver corn
And sometime in July she just forgot that he was leaving
So when the fields were dying, she held on to his sleeves
She held on to his sleeves

And she doesn't want to let go
'Cause she won't know what she's up against
The classrooms and the smart girls
It's the end of the summer
It's the end of the summer
When you hang your flowers up to dry

And I had a dream it blows the autumn through my head
It felt like the first day of school
But I was going to the moon instead
And I walked down the hall
With the notebooks they got for me
My dad led me through the house
My mom drank instant coffee
And I knew that I would crash
But I didn't want to tell them
There are just some moments when your family makes sense
They just make sense

So I raised up my arms and my mother put the sweater on
We walked out on the dark and frozen grass
The end of the summer
It's the end of the summer
When you send your children to the moon

The summer ends and we wonder who we are
And there you go, my friends, with your boxes in your car
And today I passed the high school, the river, the maple tree
I passed the farms that made it
Through the last days of the century
And I knew that I was going to learn again
Again, in this less hazy light
I saw the fields beyond the fields
The fields beyond the fields

And the colors are much brighter now
It's like they really want to tell the truth
We give our testimony to the end of the summer
It's the end of the summer,
You can spin the light to gold.

Battle of the bulge

After my posting with Jake Gyllenhaal inadvertently giving good bulge, I was idly surfing on the Just Us Boys message boards (which will in time, I am sure, throw up a darndest thing or two) and I found the following pics.

First up is Eric McCormack, in a still from Will & Grace. I stopped watching that show in the middle of season 4 so the pic below was news to me

Looks pretty impressive, no? But of course, it's TV and he's on a show that has a fairly sizeable fan base so he could have padded himself out to appear, well, fairly sizeable. However, in early seasons of the show, he was shown naked on a couple of episodes. Here's a still from one of those

Now this shot is obviously designed to make you think he's in the buff but his modesty is protected. So the bulge isn't meant to be seen by anyone. And yet it still looks roughly the same as in the first pic.

And now it's the pic of the bulge that started it all. In the season that I stopped watching Dawson's Creek due to being completely unable to tolerate that pouting idiot Katie Holmes, Chad Michael Murray popped up in some early episodes to sleep with and cheat on Jen. I remember emailing with my friend Lottie the next day, asking if she'd watched the show and whether or not my eyes had been deceiving me on the CMM front. Her reply was "Yeah I saw it and as for Jen's friend, he seemed, um, gifted". Ever since then, this has been my euphemism for the well endowed and it always will be. So that's what I mean when I say this is the bulge that started it all. Anyway, check out the gift for yourselves

Sigh. Yes, he divorced Sophia Bush after like 3 minutes, and yes he's now dating a 12 year old but look. Just look.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

People on internet message boards say the darndest things 2

Okay, so I don't know if it's strictly speaking a message board, but this little nugget of madness comes courtesy of Yahoo Answers. First of all, the question:

"Hi, the other day me and my girlfriend had an argument over whos turn it was to turn the dishwasher on. One thing led to another and it turned into a full scale fight. To cut a long story short I lost my rag when she pulled down and ripped up all my Kelly Brook posters off the living room wall.I therefore retaliated by attacking her italian pottery of body parts. i ended up destroying the 2 items i mentioned in my question. I think the ornaments cost her quite a few pennies so do you think I should apologise?"

I can't believe this is an actual serious genuine question, can you? But let's say it is. Surely it's rhetorical, no? Anyway, here's the answer that, if I were a cartoon character, would have made my eyes pop out of my head:


All grammar, punctuation and hideous hideous caps are left intact from the original posting.

And I've had such a bad day

A few weeks ago, there was some weird energy floating around and everyone seemed to be having a really rubbish day of it. Work went to hell in a handbasket with some nasty complaints that spiralled out of control. My housemate took the prize though. For those of you not keeping up with current affairs, my housemate is also my best friend of twelve years now, who happens to have very bad fibromyalgia, a fucked up back and apparently no immune system anymore. This time last year she got a hardcore case of glandular fever and since recovering from it (which in itself took six months), if you so much as cough within 10 feet of her, she is laid up in bed for a week with flu. In addition to this, and the only thing you need to know about her to make sense of the following, she has had a weird recurring fungal type skin infection on the palm of her hand since February and nothing seems to shift it. So in the middle of everyone around me at work having a shit day, she sent me this text, having just left the doctors after some blood tests:

"Well this day just gets worse! Taxi went the wrong way. Got a really gruff nurse who used both my arms like a pincushion she hated, so now bruised and many plastered on both sides and was too cowed to ask about my hand. Tried the chemist, who was Russian and not thrilled to be off his mobile, he suggested arnica (homeopathic for bruises) and vitamins. FUCKING retard! And then some mad old man told me to fuck off at the bus stop! Am now on way to another chemist, which I fully expect to explode"

I was laughing so hard by the time I got to the end of it, I had tears running down my face and couldn't speak to tell people what I was finding so funny. She was having a bad day, but a dose of Schadenfreude cheered mine right up.